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The Best Acne Treatments for Severe Acne

The Best Acne Treatments for Severe Acne The Best Acne Treatments for Severe Acne The Best Acne Treatments for Severe Acne

Acne is one of the most common skin problems. For some people, acne problems are mild with breakouts of blackheads and whiteheads. Others experience more severe acne problems, such as infected cysts or nodules. When acne reaches this level, a dermatologist will need to prescribe medications and other treatments to help clear the affected skin.


Antibiotics are one common form of treatment for severe acne. A contributing factor to severe acne is a type of bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes, or P. acnes. When present in a blocked pore, this bacteria can cause infection and inflammation, resulting in additional damage to the skin tissue. A course of antibiotics is typically effective enough to kill the bacteria in the pores.


Your dermatologist might also recommend the use of contraceptives to treat severe acne breakouts in females. The hormonal effects of contraceptives can reduce the activity of overactive sebaceous glands which, according to the Mayo Clinic, is one of the leading causes of acne breakouts.


Isotretinoin (Accutane) is another treatment prescribed only for the most severe cases of acne, typically those that have not responded to other treatments. Isotretinoin is a high-strength retinoid that, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, is the only treatment that addresses and treats all four main causes of acne including inflammation, bacteria, sebum production and clogged pores. Unfortunately, isotretinoin also carries a high risk of side effects, including potential birth defects if used while pregnant.

Corticosteroid Injection

Corticosteroid injections can also be used to treat severe acne. Corticosteroids are injected directly into acne lesions to relieve inflammation. Acne inflammation left untreated can result in a buildup of pressure, causing the lesion to pop. This increases the chances for serious infection and the development of scar tissue.


The last option available for severe acne is surgical intervention. This is reserved for patients whose acne does not respond to any other treatment methods. Surgical intervention may include draining cysts or nodules that are close to popping due to inflammation pressure, or extracting comedones (blackheads or whiteheads) before they develop into more severe forms of acne.

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